Supports for Migrant Farmworkers: Tensions in (In)access and (In)action
International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
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Purpose: This study examined the role of support actors in promoting or hindering access to migrant agricultural workers' (MAWs) needs, and, to determine the factors that influence adequate support for this population.
Methodology: Employing a Situational Analysis methodology, we carried out focus groups and interviews with 35 support actors complimented by a community scan (n=28) with public-facing support persons and a community consultation with migrant agricultural workers (MAWs).
Findings: Two major themes were revealed: (In)access and (In)action, and; Blurred Lines in Service Provision. The first illustrated how support actors could both reinforce or challenge barriers for this population through tensions of: “Coping or Pushing Back on Constraints,” and “Need to find them first!” Justification or Preparation? Blurred lines in Service Provision encompassed organizational/staff’s behaviours and contradictions that could hinder meaningful support for MAWs revealing 2 key tensions: “Protection or performance?” and “Contradicting or reconciling priorities? These 4 tensions revealed a support system for MAWs still in its infancy, contending with difficult political and economic conditions.
Implications: Service providers can use research findings to improve supports for MAWs. For example, addressing conflicts of interests in clinical encounters and identification of farms to inform adequate outreach strategies can contribute to more effective support for MAWs.
Value: This research is novel in its examination of multiple sectors and both formal and informal actors involved in MAWs’ support that can inform more comprehensive readings of the health and social care resources available to MAWs.
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